Taxonomy of meanings for 而:

  • 而 ér (OC: njɯ MC: ȵɨ) 如之切 平 廣韻:【語助説文曰類毛也如之切二十一 】
    • AND
      • padN1.postN2internominal "and": rare and problematic usage...
      • padS1.post-S2logicand 任重而道遠"his burden is heavy and the way is far"
      • padS1.post-S2and
      • padV.post-Scontemporarye.g. 之市而忘操之 "when he went to the market he forgot to take it along": and at the same time, and on that occasion; (when S) at that time
      • padV1.postV2logice.g. 謹而信"be diligent and trustworthy": and 
      • padV1.postV2modale.g. 不遠千里而來 "not regard 1000 leagues far and thus come along": and in that way, and thus, and as a result, and consequently
      • padV1.postV2sequencee.g. 拜而受之 "bow and accept it" and then, and thereupon;  (often coordinates two verbal predicates with the same subject)
      • vadV{PRED}.postN{SUBJ}:adSrelative clausee.g. 人而無信吾不知其可也"If a person lacks good faith..." (one who is N) and/but (does not V)
      • padS1.postS2modaland in that way, and thus, and as a result, and consequently
      • sentential>MOREOVER
        • contrastive>BUT
          • padS1.post-S2but
          • padS1.postS2but, and yet
          • padV.postN{SUBJ}contrastive subject marker: the N, on the other hand he Ved
          • padV1.postV2adversativebut on the other hand; but on the contrary; and yet; but; whereas;樂而不淫"is joyful without being extravagant" between subject and predicate the word indicates that the predication is unexpected
          • alternatively, by contrast>OR
            • padV.post-Salternativeor else??? 而貸焉 "or else you will (have to) borrow from them
          • against expectation>EVEN
            • vadV{PRED}.postN{SUBJ}:adS(if) even/also the preceding N (in subordinate clauses) 管氏而知禮,孰不知禮?
        • post-nominal>RELATIVE CLAUSE MARKER
          • padV.postadNwho
          • padV.postadNrelative clausewhich (forming a relative clause modifying the noun that precedes) 陳言而不當
          • subordinating>IF
            • padV.postN{SUBJ}:postSe.g. 人臣而仁 "if a minister is kind-hearted": if
            • padV{PRED}.postN{OBJ}:adSif
      • epexegetic>ID EST
        • padV1.postV2epexegeticthat is to say, i.e., in other words 述而不作"transmit and not create"
        • time>THEREUPON
          • padS1.post-S2and then
          • padV1.postV2after Ving, then 生而知之"knows things from birth"
          • padS1.post-S2sequenceand then, and thereupon
          • quickly>IMMEDIATELY
            • also causal>THEN
              • padS1.post-S2temporalthen (also sometimes before nominal minor sentences)
              • padS1.post-S2logicthen 本立而道生"once what is basic is established, then the Way will naturally emerge"
              • padS1.post-S2then
              • padV.post-Nat the point in time identified by N 中道而廢 "one gives up mid-Way"
              • padV.post-Slogicthen
              • padV.post-Stemporalthen
              • padV.postN{SUBJ}then
              • padV.postNPab{S}(When/while S was happening,) then at that time
              • padV1.postV2temporalat that point in time, then
              • padV1.postV2nonreferentialthen generally, at that point generally
              • padV.post-Nin the time span of N
              • thence>FROM
                • abstract: causal>THEREFORE
                  • padS1.post-S2and (sometimes, though rarely, between nominal sentences)
                  • padV1.postV2resultand as a result
          • BEARD
            • =耳 (而已)FINAL PARTICLES
              • =爾SUFFIX
                • padV.postN{SUBJ}in the manner indicated by the N that precedes; by the method indicated by the N that precedes
                • padV1.postV2in a manner characterised by V2 幸而免 "have been lucky to get away"; 襁負其子而至矣"will flock to one, carrying their children in their swaddling clothes" is a more complex case that could be interpreted in many ways.
                • ppostadN.adVinstrumentby use of, using N
                • ppostadVlike the suffix rán 然
              • =爾YOU
                • npro.adNyour
                • nproyou
            • 而 neng2《集韻》奴登切,平登泥。蒸部。
              • =能 JIE HUIQUAN 2005: 115